Apartment Hunting Tips For Millennials in Seattle, WA

As More and more millennials turn to renting, many are finding it difficult to land the right apartment.

According to a recent survey from Rent.com, 44% of Millennials found the apartment hunting process to be extremely difficult. Furthermore, 30% of Millennials say the process is more painful than going to the DMV! Really…the DMV?!

We know that finding a new apartment can be tough. But, if you’re in Seattle, you’re lucky enough to live in one of the fastest growing cities in America. There are plenty of fantastic new apartments opening up here, plenty of which aim to provide millennials with an ideal lifestyle.
If you stay focused and follow a few simple apartment hunting tips, you can land your dream Seattle apartment while your friends are still in line at the DMV – here’s how:

Create a flexible budget

Of course, you need to create a budget when you’re apartment hunting. It’s important to know how much you can afford each month, remember to account for utilities, and any upfront expenses, such as first and last months rent, cleaning fees, security deposits, etc. These can add up quickly, and if you’re not careful, by the time you actually sign a lease, your bank account could be hurting.

There’s a well-known guideline which states that you should never spend 30% of your income on your rent. However, many millennials are currently grappling with this – it can be a challenge to find the ideal spot, in the right part of town, for the right amount of money.
As a result, it’s not at all shocking to see millennials in Seattle paying over 30% of their monthly income on rent. Your best bet is to create a flexible budget, say 25-40% of your income, as criteria for your new apartment. That way you have a little more freedom in your decision without putting yourself at financial risk. Make sure to hunt for places with multiple floor plan offerings, so you have some price options.

Learn to Compromise

Compromise – something that every Millennial knows all too well!  This is an important apartment hunting tip – the hard truth is you’ll unlikely find an apartment that perfectly lines up with your budget, ideal neighborhood, and quality expectations.

In Seattle, a city where things can feel very spread apart, neighborhood considerations might be at the forefront of your apartment hunting strategy. But, if you’re a more-seasoned millennial, you may not care about the neighborhood as much as you do about the overall quality of the building and the homes.

It’s definitely beneficial to have your ideals established when you’re apartment hunting. But, if you hold true to those ideals too firmly, you could go far too long before you find an apartment, or you could pass up a completely suitable place.
Your best bet is to create a list of priorities and know ahead of time which aspects of an apartment you’re willing to bend on. Or, you could direct your search towards communities that aim to achieve all of your ideals.


What many younger renters fail to realize is that timing is crucial to landing the ideal apartment. For one, leasing definitely happens in cycles. In this city, July, August, and September seem to extremely popular months in which to move, which is likely due to the school year. If you can time your plans to move and hunt for apartments for the winter months, after the annual rent boom, you could find that diamond in the rough, or you could wind up saving a lot of money!

In Seattle, where many new buildings are opening their doors every other week, your best bet might be to strike when the irons hot and apply to newly opened apartments that are offering lease-up incentives.
Other than that, if you’re dead-set on finding your dream apartment and it hasn’t presented itself yet, you might just have to wait around until it appears.

Stay Organized

Some of those on the younger side of the Millennial generation seem to think that apartment hunting consists of showing up at a place, checking it out, and asking where to sign. In reality, you have to have your ducks in a row and be ready to pull the trigger if an apartment is available. Otherwise, you could miss out on it.

Think about it this way: Landlords and Property Managers RARELY rent units based on their personal feelings about a tenant. Typically, those leasing apartments are more concerned if the potential lessee meets their requirements and is ready to sign a lease now.

How to make sure you meet the requirements? Well, you have to fill out an application, which will likely include a background and credit check. As such, you’ve got to make sure your credit is up to snuff, and if it’s not, you’ve got to make sure you find a co-signer to vouch for you.
Remember to stay organized with all of your documentation and applications, make sure you have the dough to cover your deposits and any other fees, and carry your checkbook with you wherever you go to look at a place or meet with a leasing manager. You never know when they’ll be ready for you to sign!  

Be the perfect candidate

In many ways, applying for a new apartment can feel like applying for a new job. Gathering references and proof of rental history, along with filling out an application, can feel a lot like revamping your resume.

Just remember, Leasing Managers don’t have to like you, but they do need to get a responsible impression, or else they won’t rent to you. Be cordial and punctual, be timely in your response, and have everything organized. If you show them that you’re serious about renting an apartment, they take you seriously in return.

It’s hard to say how to become the absolute perfect candidate – a Leasing Manager’s idea of perfect will depend heavily on the needs of the building or the particular home. Try to get a feel for the Leasing Manager’s expectations if you can, and remember, politeness and decorum never hurt!

If you’re a millennial searching for an apartment in Seattle and location, quality, and budget are concerns of yours, check out Eleanor Apartments in the Roosevelt neighborhood. Eleanor has numerous different floorplans to the suit all sorts of lifestyles. Plus, our apartments are immaculately designed with contemporary styles, giving you a level of comfort most millennials aren’t used to. And, Roosevelt is an amazing neighborhood in which to live, with easy commute times, fantastic shopping, and wonderful parks.

If you’re interested in landing your ideal new apartment, we’ve got just the spot for you!

Apply for your new apartment today!